Reviews

TARZAN is WPPAC’s Holiday SAFARI for Kids Of All Ages

WPPAC Producing Artistic Director Jeremy Quinn has created the Congo of 1912 though the theatrical alchemy of  lighting master Jamie Roderick and jungle designer Gabriel Firestone. TARZANs staging is as in-your-face technologically, up-to-date and inventive and sets the setting as strong as the reach-out-and-touch-your heart performances.

WPPAC has never before created the effects like these: the scenery, the real jungle treetops with creeping leopards,  tree houses and spectacular costumes where TARZANs apes actually look like apes. Quinn puts WPPAC in the big time with this production. TARZAN is Broadway quality.

John F. BaileyWPCNR STAGE DOOR

There is something brilliant going on at the White Plains Performing Arts Center.

With their production of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID, they have once again succeeded in providing epic spectacle but also find the heart and center of the story which is so often forgotten. The production lands with a satisfying splash, making imaginative use of the stage and creative set pieces to transport audiences from under the sea to dry land and back again.

The material itself is not without its faults. And despite this production’s best attempts, there are some scattered moments that feel long and bland. But thankfully, these moments are few thanks to Jeremy Quinn’s direction. Mr. Quinn sustains a sense of gentle spontaneity and fun while keeping the show within the accepted bounds of “Disney entertainment”. Disney management being rather zealous in terms of protecting their brand, still leaves a lot of room for artistic interpretation which Mr. Quinn masterfully guides his cast in.

While the Broadway production flopped, suffice it to say that Mr. Quinn and his collaborators have fooled the naysayers and given us a production that more than does justice to the lovely little film from which it sprang. I’d see it again in a heartbeat.

Kathleen MoselOnStage New York

‘SWEENEY TODD’ IS A CHILLING THRILL OF AN EVENING.

A new vision of a modern classic, reimagined and directed by WPPAC Artistic Director Jeremy Quinn pushes the edge, as Quinn is known to do. Very well executed, it works whether you are familiar with the story or not.

Each of the actors has developed just the right amount of tick and tremble to their movements, a certain cock of the head, a blankness to the stare, a shrill to the scream to put the audience right at the scene of the insanity taking place in an imaginary London.

If you are looking for an eerie Halloween-style adventure, be sure to make this show one of your scheduled stops this month.

Pat CaseyTHE EXAMINER

WHITE PLAINS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER: SWEENEY TODD

WPPAC’s production is a bold interpretation that moves the barber and pie shops into an insane asylum.  Think of it as One Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest meets Sweeney Todd.  As we waited outside wrought iron gates to enter the theater, we hear screams coming from within the auditorium. We eventually see some “patients” walking around, trying to get out of the gates. This was a very appropriate way to set the tone for this unique show. Each actor perfectly maintained their special demeanor during this half hour of improv and throughout the show. The musical performances were powerful and flawlessly performed by the talented cast and orchestra.  Steven C. Rich who played ‘Sweeney Todd’ has the voice to fit the part, his strong, clear baritone voice rang beautifully through the auditorium.  His performance of “Epiphany” was extraordinary.

The word ‘extraordinary’ can honestly be used to describe each and every cast member.  Each actor showed us many facets of their talents, from their acting to their strong singing voices.  Special praise goes to Director Jeremy Quinn who brought this brilliant concept to life.  From beginning to end, Mr. Quinn’s vision added depth and originality to the show.  He took a chance which worked very well. WPPAC’s production of Sweeney Todd is unlike any you’ll see anywhere, anytime. You must see it!

Jim PetrilloMORE SUGAR

‘SWEENEY TODD’ – A RAZOR-SHARP PRODUCTION AT WPPAC

The staging works. ‘Sweeney Todd’ is an ambitious musical to undertake. Kudos to White Plains Performing Arts Center for taking on the challenge.

Debra BanerjeeTHE SCARSDALE INQUIRER

WPPAC’s Production of THE FOX ON THE FAIRWAY Kept Me Laughing

I could not help myself, I had to laugh out loud several times during the performance. As one can expect of a production by Jeremy Quinn and his associates, “The Fox on the Fairway” is well worth a visit.

Pat CaseyTHE EXAMINER NEWSTHE EXAMINER NEWS

Lots of Laughs on the Links in FOX ON THE FAIRWAY

The best indoor golf tournament you’ll ever see; The Fox on the Fairway is the most fun you will have on a golf course this year, any year. The audience’s collective jaws drop and incredulous laughter peels forth, eager for whatever comes next in this wild-tee-shot-down-the-fairway-slicing-hooking-delighting-quipping-after-quip-bouncing-after-bounce-and-in-the-hole comedy! The slapstick bits are just too funny. It’s mirthful mayhem. There’s lot of joy on the golf course in this creatively staged, outlandishly plotted play.

Jeremy Quinn, Artistic Director and director of this show has nailed the timing down of all the performers who work together—timing their lines perfectly. The bodies are flying around the big stage in a complexity of motion that glazes the audience’s eyes and keeps the laughs on coming. The staging of the final putt of the tournament is fabulously choreographed, as every twist and break has the audience on the edge of their seats, as the whispering voice of the tournament announcer delivers every nuance of the long twisting roll.

Quinn has mixed all the many tools White Plains Performing Arts Center offers the director to send up golf in not a mean way but a bizarrely reverent way – the essence of farce.

John F. BaileyWPCNR STAGE DOORWhite Plains CitizeNet Reporter

EDITORS’ OBSESSION: We can’t shut up about…an amazing production of LES MISERABLES with Broadway-caliber acting and impressive sets, costumes, orchestration and staging.

Kathryn WalshManaging Editor, WESTCHESTER MAGAZINE

COLOR PURPLE gamble pays off in uplifting production​.

Consistently Soared. Provocative and Uplifting. The production exemplifies how the joy of creativity can triumph over cruelty and hardship. WPPAC’s achievement is doubly impressive because the company got it together in less than three weeks. Talent appears evenly distributed throughout the cast…There are no weak links. The cumulative effect is mighty powerful, a study in overcoming adversity in more ways than one. The Color Purple earns every laugh and tear.

John P. McCarthyTHE JOURNAL NEWS

Laughter to the rafters!

Under Jeremy Quinn’s snappy direction, LEND ME A TENOR was played at the proper breakneck tempo…The production fully deserves the tenner on which the show’s title is a pun; perhaps even two tenners, one for each Otello creating such heavenly havoc.

John SimonYONKERS TRIBUNE

CATS directed by Jeremy Quinn, creatively, smoothly, energetic for every minute; is by far the best production the White Plains Performing Arts Center has ever done​. A miracle and a testimony to what committed talent can do.

John F. BaileyWPCNR On The Aisle

Once again, White Plains Performing Arts Center has staged an inspired production.

Fresh off their reimagined “Sweeney Todd”, this production of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID proves good theatre is happening in White Plains. The staging and costumes are larger than life. The whole experience makes for a magical feeling of being immersed in a sea adventure. Children of all ages will marvel at the singing, the staging, the cast presence, and the costumes in this shimmering jewel of a show.

On Broadway the production floundered (pun intended) with roller skating sea creatures. Here the performers embody the characters with such zest and relish.

All in all, the production of “The Little Mermaid” is an artistic triumph. Mr. Quinn has given this production a fresh spin that will enchant all “little Mermaids” who aspire to live out their dreams with their handsomest, most helpful and loving prince.

Kathryn KittBROADWAYWORLD.com

IF YOU ONLY SEE ONE MUSICAL THIS SEASON, LET THIS BE THE ONE.

Last month, White Plains Performing Arts Center Artistic Director, Jeremy Quinn, promised that his reimagining of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, would be “new and exciting”.

What Mr. Quinn didn’t tell us, was that it’s also bloody brilliant.

All in all, the show was very well done, filled with moving performances – both small and large and is well worth seeing. I applaud WPPAC for having the guts to bring something new to this show and I look forward to their other productions.

With this cast and Mr. Quinn’s creative staging, this production reveals complexities in the text that I doubt have been explored before. Through the way Mr. Quinn weaves the story, we see the piece in new perspectives, allowing the cast to explore these characters beyond the page.

A challenge like this would be impossible for a lesser cast, however Mr. Quinn has assembled an incredible ensemble of performers who seemed more than able to carry out his dark vision.

The WPPAC production is not easy to watch, but you can’t take your eyes away. If you only see one musical this season, let this be the one.

Kathleen MoselOnStage

ENGAGING PERFORMANCES OF A BEAUTIFUL SCORE

Entering the re-imagined staging of White Plains Performing Arts Center’s production of “Sweeney Todd,” one is greeted with ear-piercing screams and a locked gate barring audience entry. During the pre-show, the cast interacts with the audience and each other, warning us to abandon all pre-conceived notions of other Sweeney Todd’s.

Stephen Sondheim’s score certainly didn’t need any reimagining, but using this asylum backdrop is an interesting choice. I was quite impressed with Jeremy Quinn’s vision of having the show set in an asylum.

All in all, the show was very well done, filled with moving performances – both small and large and is well worth seeing. I applaud WPPAC for having the guts to bring something new to this show and I look forward to their other productions.

Kathryn KittBROADWAYWORLD.com

Under director Jeremy Quinn, the (FOX ON THE FAIRWAY) troupe exhibits solid timing and chemistry as they launch zingers and negotiate the slapstick and chases.

John P. McCarthyTHE JOURNAL NEWS

Fore! Play for the Funny Bone

Evoking “The Honeymooners” and “Caddyshack,” among other comedy evergreens, author Ken Ludwig tees up country club culture and flails away with glee (in FOX ON THE FAIRWAY). The result, directed with precision timing by Jeremy Quinn, is highly derivative and highly entertaining. Apart from directing a thoroughly enjoyable, precise production, Jeremy Quinn appears on stage before the curtain to make the usual housekeeping announcements about cellphones and such, but also thankfully reminds us that “The arts are not a luxury. They are a necessity.” He also asks that patrons stay long enough to acknowledge the cast at the curtain call. Hard to imagine a playgoer would be so crass as to leave 60 seconds sooner without doing what is common courtesy. Nevertheless, he is what you call an actor’s director.

Bruce AparCHASE MEDIA GROUPTownLink

Smaller scale ‘LES MISERABLES’ is powerful at WPPAC

WPPAC has made a virtue of its smaller size and budget limitations. The spectacle and pomp of the Broadway production is replaced by a sense of intimacy with the main characters. Each face in the crowd scenes is sharply delineated and the people retain their individuality.

The glue that holds all the disparate elements of the production together is, of course, its director Jeremy Quinn. ‘Les Mis’ with its quick time and place transitions – needs to build a sense of distinctness for each year and venue. Quinn does this admirably and keeps the pacing lively while giving the serious scenes their full emotional weight. Under his watchful eye, the adaptable ensemble gives quick, compelling details of its various characters while never upstaging the stars.

Andrea KurtzTHE SCARSDALE INQUIRER

WPPAC Stages a Powerful AUGUST: Osage County

Director Jeremy Quinn elicits powerful performances from an excellent cast.

Debra BanerjeeTHE SCARSDALE INQUIRER

Stellar acting and seamless direction. So captivating, entertaining and pitch-perfect throughout that AUGUST: Osage County merits “must see” status. There simply isn’t a weak link in this outstanding cast.

John RocheTHE EXAMINER

Mayhem, fun, dysfunction and genius.

Don’t miss the White Plains Performing Arts Center production of AUGUST: Osage County, the opener for the WPPAC’s special 10th anniversary season; this is the venue for the New York regional premier of the play…The scenery—three levels—is superb, as is, I stress, each and every cast member. You will rivet your focus on scenes where the family sits at the dining room table, in ensembles of entropy. All the scenes are a funny unraveling of secrets and lies. Congratulations to the cast and to Jeremy Quinn, who is the Director.

Renee Marks CohenWPCNR STAGE DOOR

Despite my trepidation, I was thrilled to see an incredible artistic achievement at the highest level of professionalism.​​ I wish there were more performances of SPRING AWAKENING so others could have experienced its artistry.

Nick LeshiCITY OF KIK